2012 NFL Draft: Cleveland Browns 7-Round Mock Draft

Brian KleinCorrespondent IIApril 20, 2012

2012 NFL Draft: Cleveland Browns 7-Round Mock Draft

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    With less than a week til the much anticipated 2012 NFL Draft, much has been made and said about what the Cleveland Browns should and will do concerning their 13 draft picks.

    From Trent Richardson to Ryan Tannehill and everyone in-between, let's now take a look at what the Browns' 2012 draft class could look like.

Round 1, Fourth Overall Selection

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    Round 1, fourth Overall Selection

    Morris Claiborne, CB from LSU

    I am going against all conventional wisdom by choosing Claiborne with the Browns first overall selection.

    I truly believe though, that Heckert is a man of his word and will select the best overall prospect for the Cleveland Browns no matter the position.

    Claiborne stands in at 5'11'' and 188 pounds, and is in the mold of a true SEC shutdown corner.

    Both Trent Richardson and Justin Blackmon would also make sense here, but I believe that Tom Heckert thinks value at those two positions can be had later in the draft.

    When you pair Claiborne with Joe Haden, Dimitri Patterson, and Buster Skrine, the Browns have a formidable secondary that can at the very least slow down any wide receiver corps in the NFL.

    This move would also allow Heckert, Pat Shurmur and Dick Jauron to move veteran Sheldon Brown back to free safety to replace Mike Adams.

Round 1, 22nd Selection

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    Round 1, 22nd Selection

    Cordy Glenn, OG/T from Georgia

    Once again, a pick that makes the Browns a better team and fits into the drafting philosophy of both Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert.

    Both Heckert and Holmgren love drafting corners and fat men in the early rounds of the NFL Draft.  The Browns first two picks in this draft reflect both of these philosophies.

    Cordy Glenn is a beast at 6'6'' and 345 pounds.

    Unlike many of the other offensive linemen projected to go within Round 1, Glenn's real value lies within the versatility he would offer the Browns and Pat Shurmur, Brad Childress and George Warhop.

    Cordy Glenn could walk into Berea tomorrow and start at either offensive guard position for the Cleveland Browns.  Many draft experts also believe that he projects to be an AFC North type right tackle very soon.

    Glenn has the strength and the size to be a natural hole maker within the running game.  His combine performance showed all of us that he also possesses the natural athleticism to handle a pass rush.

Round 2, 37th Selection

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    Round 2, 37th Selection

    Doug Martin, RB from Boise State

    Martin has proven to be the second best running back in the 2012 draft class.

    Browns fans will be disappointed that he is not Trent Richardson of Alabama, but Martin will prove his worth on the football field.

    Doug Martin stands 5'9'' and 219 pounds, and can do anything he wants on a football field.

    Martin had a fabulous career while at Boise State, and proved he was ready for the big time with an amazing week while at the Senior Bowl.

    Martin is a three-down type back, that can pick up the blitz or catch the ball out of the backfield.  He is an explosive runner to the hole and has the ability to break a big run once he hits the open field.  

    More important than that, Martin has proved that he is fearless between the tackles and has the strength and body control to create a hole or push a pile when needed.

Round 3, 67th Selection

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    Round 3, 67th Selection

    Kirk Cousins, QB from Michigan State

    Kirk Cousins is not the flashiest or sexiest quarterback prospect in this draft class, but he is a reliable QB with the intelligence and leadership skills to be a very solid quarterback in the NFL.

    Cousins possesses a lot of Big Ten starting experience while at Michigan State. Cousins was a three year starter and captain for the Michigan State football program.

    Cousins is only the second player in the 115 year history of Michigan State football to be named a team captain for three seasons.

    At 6'3'' and 202 pounds, Kirk Cousins possesses all the skills a team like the Browns will look for in a quarterback.

    Cousins gets the ball out of his hands quickly, while also making intelligent and accurate decisions with the football.

    Once again, this pick also falls within the philosophies of both Heckert and Holmgren:  take a quarterback every off-season within a later round pick, and hope he develops into something special.

Round 4, 100th Selection

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    Round 4, 100th Selection

    Marvin McNutt, WR from Iowa

    We have to remember that the philosophy of Heckert and Holmgren is that the system makes the wide receiver, not vice versa.

    McNutt is a perfect selection within that philosophy.  He can come to Cleveland and compete with Greg Little, Joshua Cribbs, Jordan Norwood and Mohamed Massaquoi for playing time at the wide receiver position with the Browns.

    At 6'2'' and 216 pounds, McNutt could be a sleeper pick in this year's draft class.

    He is a fluid receiver that had a solid Senior season at Iowa, recording 82 receptions for 1,315 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns.

    McNutt had a solid Senior Bowl week, and has shown to be surprisingly athletic with good hands.  He runs very strong routes and has proven to be very polished as a wide receiver.

Round 4, 118th Selection

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    Round 4, 118th Selection

    Sean Spence, OLB from Miami

    The Browns have already re-signed linebackers D'Quell Jackson and Chris Gocong to be starters for the upcoming football season.

    This is still a belief though. The Browns need to get more athletic at that third starting linebacker position.

    On top of that belief, veteran outside linebacker Scott Fujita may be suspended by the NFL for his role in the New Orleans Saints bounty gate scandal.

    With that said, Sean Spence addresses all those needs.

    At 5'11'' and 231 pounds, Spence is much like his other linebacker brethren from The U.  He is a bit undersized height-wise for the NFL, but he knows how to attack the quarterback.

    CBS Sports had this to say about Sean Spence:

    Spence does everything he can to overcome lack of natural size and strength. He is already a coach on the field - something teams may note for the future - and shows amazing recognition skills that result from intense film analysis. Athletically, he reads and reacts quickly without wasted steps. Spence is not fooled often by play action, and shows above average skills as a pass defender.

Round 5, 139th Selection

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    Round 5, 139th Selection

    Jaye Howard, DT from Florida

    Howard would provide the Browns with some much needed depth at the DT position.

    Howard would immediately join the DT rotation for the Browns with Ahtyba Rubin,  Phil Taylor and Brian Schaefering.

    More importantly, Howard would provide the Browns with someone to spell Phil Taylor in third down pass-rushing situations.

Round 5, 160th Selection

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    Round 5, 160th Selection

    Janzen Jackson, Safety from McNeese State

    Even with the addition of Morris Claiborne to the Browns' secondary, the Browns still lack a long-term solution to their free safety position.

    Even if the Browns add Sheldon Brown to Usama Young at the free safety position, the Browns still would need to look for a long-term free safety solution.

    Enter Janzen Jackson from McNeese State.

    Jackson started his career at The University of Tennessee under Lane and Monte Kiffin, where he was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team as a freshman and All SEC second team as a sophomore.

    At 6'0'' and 187 pounds, Jackson's versatility should be really appealing to the Browns or whatever team decides to draft him.  He was the second ranked corner recruit coming out of high school before being moved to safety at Tennessee.

    As a free safety within the NFL, his coverage skills will allow any NFL defensive coordinator the versatility to play him against slot receivers.

Round 6, 204th Selection

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    Round 6, 204th Selection

    Ryan Miller, OG/T from Colorado

    Ryan Miller is a perfect late round selection for the Cleveland Browns.  He would offer the Browns great versatility and value if selected here.  Depending on whose mock draft you believe, Ryan Miller can be selected anywhere between the fourth and sixth rounds of the upcoming NFL Draft.

    He would come to Berea with Cordy Glenn and provide the Browns with some versatility and competition along their offensive line.

    Unlike Cordy Glenn, Ryan Miller projects more favorably as an offensive guard than tackle within the NFL.

    If you pencil a guy like Cordy Glenn in at right tackle for the Browns, than Ryan Miller can compete with both Jason Pinkston and Shawn Lauvao for a starting guard position in Cleveland.

    Even if Ryan Miller does not start right away for Cleveland, he would make the Browns game day roster based on the fact that he can play either guard or offensive tackle in an injury plagued situation.

    At 6'7'' and 321 pounds, Miller showed surprising athleticism at the NFL Combine.

    Miller is an extremely quick and powerful run blocker.

    He has some development still ahead of him with his knee bend and pad level, but he showed at the East-West Shrine practices that he will fight through adversity and attempt to overcome his shortcomings with his athletic gifts.

Round 6, 205th Selection

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    Round 6, 205th Selection

    T.J. Graham, WR from North Carolina State

    The name of the game at this point, is to try and find versatile guys that can help your team out immediately while also developing into a big time threat in the near future.

    Enter T.J. Graham.

    At 5'11'' and 188 pounds, Graham would offer the Browns a possible deep threat at wide receiver while also contributing on special teams.

    At the Senior Bowl, Graham showed off his quickness and his ability to work from within the slot receiver in the NFL.

    As a Senior at NC State, Graham caught 46 receptions for 757 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. Graham also returned 44 kicks averaging over 22 yards per return.

Round 7, 211th Selection

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    Round 7, 211th Selection

    Brian Stahovich, Punter from San Diego State

    The Browns have shown interest in Stahovich from day one.

    They brought the punter into Berea to work him out, and have also sent front office personal to go see him workout while in San Diego.

    Stahovich averaged 44 yards per punt in 2011.

    Brian Stahovich also had 16 kicks over 50 yards with 18 punts inside the 20 yard line.

    The San Diego State Punter also averaged 45.4 yards per punt in 2010, and was named to the First Team All-MWC.

Round 7, 245th Selection

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    Round 7, 245th Selection

    Vontaze Burfict, ILB from Arizona State

    Okay, maybe I will be called crazy for believing that Vontaze Burfict will still be available when this selection roles around.

    But the reports that are surfacing on the former Arizona State inside linebacker is that he has fallen from being a projected first round pick to being undraftable.

    For the Browns, this is a high risk high reward type selection.

    Burfict has all the physical tools to be a first round selection.

    At 6'3'' and 250 pounds, Burfict possesses the perfect body for an NFL linebacker.

    Burfict compares very favorably to Baltimore Ravens' linebacker Ray Lewis.

    He possesses amazing sideline to sideline and closing speed, and is an absolute terror against the running game.

    He is a devastating hitter, who will sacrifice his body to make a play.

    He blitzes without abandon and can absolutely make an offensive lineman look silly.

    The problem with Vontaze Burfict is that he plays out of control.

    Even with all of these physical tools, he had an underwhelming Junior season and has absolutely disappeared on game film.

    He does not understand how to play within a defense, and often draws too many penalties.

    If he is available at this point in the draft, then he is well worth the risk for the Cleveland Browns.

Round 7, 248th Selection

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    Round 7, 248th Selection

    Blair Walsh, Kicker from Georgia

    Yes, the Browns have Phil Dawson!

    Yes, the Browns just named Phil Dawson their franchise player!

    Yes, Tom Heckert has been saying for the past couple of offseasons that he wants to sign Phil Dawson to a long-term contract.

    But Heckert has not signed Dawson to a long-term deal!

    At 37 years old, Dawson's best kicking days are well behind him.

    Blair Walsh, much like Brian Stahovich, would provide the Browns with some competition and protection against their incumbent kicker and punter suffering an injury or just not having it anymore.

    Blair Walsh is considered the best kicker in this draft class, and the safest pick for the Cleveland Browns at this point.

    Not only would he have the highest probability of any player at this selection making the roster, but Walsh would also have the highest probability of impacting the Browns this season and beyond of anyone available at this point in the draft.